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A Response to the Action of the Pacific Union Conference Constituency Meeting on Sunday, August 19, 2012

http://www.adventistreview.org/article/5625/archives/issue-2012-152...

 

The 17 million members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are united through the Holy Spirit in a common commitment to Christ and the truths of His Word, an urgent end-time mission, and a divinely inspired church organization. A threat to any one of these places at risk the unity of the church. It is for this reason that the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church affirms the Pacific Union’s action not to change their Constitution and remain in harmony with the world church. This represents a step in a positive direction. The General Conference leadership is seriously concerned, though, with the Pacific Union’s subsequent action to preempt the collective decisions of the world church regarding ordination. Unilateral actions contrary to the voted decisions of the global church seriously threaten the unity of the church.

The world church recognizes the vital role that women play in the life, ministry and leadership of the church and encourages their active involvement. Because the General Conference Administrative Committee has already voted and commenced the most comprehensive study in our history on the subject of ordination, which will include the study of the ordination of women, the action of the Pacific Union to grant Ministerial Ordination “without respect to gender” preempts the process voted for the current study of ordination theology and practices by committing the Pacific Union Conference to a particular outcome before the study-and-discussion process is completed. It also expresses a lack of trust in the integrity of the general process accepted and voted by General Conference administrators and personnel, division officers, and pastors and lay members from all the world divisions who serve on the General Conference Executive Committee, which includes the presidents of the 125 unions representing the world church, regarding how we approach common challenges.

Further, the action is contrary to General Conference Working Policy and sets aside the 1990 and 1995 decisions of the General Conference in Session respecting the practice of ordination. The action taken by the Pacific Union Conference represents a serious threat to the unity of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, and thus, at its next meeting in October 2012, as indicated in another recent public statement by General Conference officers and division presidents, the General Conference Executive Committee will carefully review the situation and determine how to respond. In the spirit of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the officers of the General Conference appeal to all entities, organizations, and individuals, including the Pacific Union Conference, to refrain from independent and unilateral decisions and from implementing any such actions.

It is our prayer that the “oneness” Jesus prayed for in His great intercessory prayer in John 17, and that which the disciples experienced in Acts 2, will be manifest in His church today. We pray that the result of this “oneness” will be lives transformed by His grace, united in His love, and empowered by His Spirit to proclaim His last-day message in all of its fullness to a perishing planet, hastening the glorious return of our Lord.


Ted N. C. Wilson, President
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


G. T. Ng, Secretary
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


Robert E. Lemon, Treasurer
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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Who has lowered the standard?  NO ONE!  Ray, your attempts to make the Scripture and now EGW writings say what you want it to say are failing miserably.  

If it is of God, He will bless what is done in His Name....If it is not of God it will utterly fail.  That is what the scripture states and is the test of a person's ministry, calling, and what they do as a Christian.  Jesus let's us know that He will never bless mess.

"And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.  And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."--Luke 9:49, 50.

Ronald, you are referring to Acts 5:38, 39  which the principle can be applied, however Luke 9:49, 50 share the actual words of Christ....Gamaliel had nothing to do with the reference that I used....Only Christ's Words.

teresa

You quoted an unnamed source as saying:

"Quite simply, the ordination of ministers, as good and necessary as it may be, is a relatively recent development in the church (i.e. since the canon of Scripture was closed). It doesn't seem to be explicitly enjoined or exemplified anywhere in the Bible."

This is a comment that is in the same category of many other comments made by those who support and have supported WOPE over the last 5 decades or so. 

They stumble becasue they are a slave to a single word.  "Setting apart for a sacred purpose," "laying on of hands," "ordain," consecrate," etc. are all the same thing, just using different words to describe the action.  Actually ordination is mentioned specifically in several of the more modern translations, as far back as 1 Kings 12 and 13.  To ordain anyone who will, male or female, is considered as a sin by God.  See 1 Kings 13:33, 34.

So to say that ordination of ministers is post canon is a most uninformed statment.  If this simple fact is missed, then how can any other aspect of what that person claims that God says can be trusted either? 

Which is a major weakness in the WOPE position.  So many alledged "facts" are a product of ignorance or have been misrepresented, or are taken out of context, that they give the entire movement a very poor to zero, credibility rating. 

Ellen White says:

     "Agitate, agitate, agitate! The subjects which we present to the world must be to us a living reality. It is important that in defending the doctrines which we consider fundamental articles of faith, we should never allow ourselves to employ arguments that are not wholly sound. These may avail to silence an opposer, but they do not honor the truth. We should present sound arguments, that will not only silence our opponents, but will bear the closest and most searching scrutiny. . . ."   {CW 40.3} 

When arguments that are presented can not stand up to even the most elementary scrutiny, it is time to abandon that cause and take a stand on a more solid foundation.

Again, this is a response to your unnamed source that you were responding to, not to yourself specifically.

Maranatha :)
Ray

Ronald

Would you please clearly explain just how we should be "fair" when dealing with positions that God's word condemns?  Thank  you.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

Show where and how God's word actually condemns the position, and as far as possible, let the truth speak for itself. Don't ever try to make a Bible verse say something that it was never intended to say. Rely on the Holy Spirit for aid, look at the context and interpret according to the obvious intent. If you have merely found principles that might apply to the question, frankly admit the fact.

Don't ever overstate the strength of your case. Just because you mayfeel that the proponents of a particular practice are promoting something dangerous, that doesn't necessarily make it so. Tell how you feel about it and why. If there's no real proof that you are right, then others have every right to differ. Never try to manufacture proof where it doesn't really exist. If you think you have a proof text, let others try to show why it doesn't apply, or why it doesn't really say what you think it says. Candidly consider whether or not they might be right. Truth can afford to be fair.

Try to set aside any preconceived ideas and let the Bible instruct you. Adopting a position first, and then going looking for Bible texts to support it, is a recipe for disaster.

If you really know, from the Bible itself, that a particular position is condemned, then you should be able to show it to the rest of us. If fair-minded fellow believers can't see that you've made your point, you must entertain the possibility that you are mistaken.

AMEN!  

Ronald

The forum shut off the response to your post, so I am posting it here in 3 parts.

You posted this question.

“Show where and how God's word actually condemns the position, and as far as possible, let the truth speak for itself. Don't ever try to make a Bible verse say something that it was never intended to say. Rely on the Holy Spirit for aid, look at the context and interpret according to the obvious intent. If you have merely found principles that might apply to the question, frankly admit the fact.”

  1. It has been posted many times, by both myself and others, the evidence in God’s word that condemns the ordination of anyone who will.  If that information is not conclusive, then post information that is just as authoritative in favor of the ordination of anyone who will.  If you do not have evidence for that, then accept the evidence that is against it that has been posted.
  2. Many posts have been put on the forum that in fact has allowed “truth to speak for itself.”  But they are rejected, just like truth was rejected when Jesus spoke it when on earth.  So the problem is not with the presentation, but the reception of the information.
  3. Actually, much of the information I have posted has come to my attention by the Holy Spirit leading me into all truth.  This is an ongoing process, so I do not have all truth now, but I am still learning.  However, one can never be led into all truth unless they accept the truth that is presented to them without quibbling about it and condemning the messenger.
  4. The context of the scripture and SOP quotes I have presented totally supports the point of the quote, unlike those passages that have been posted in opposition.  There has not been one inspired reference posted, that, in context, supports the ordination of anyone who will in any way, shape or form.  Oh, I have no doubt that the one who posted it believes it does.  But, in the past many people honestly thought that tobacco smoking was good for their health too.
  5. In my posts, I have not even brought in the “principles” that you alluded to.  The statements are very clearly dealing with spiritual leadership.  To quibble over what name they are called, is to be blind to the message of the quotes.  However, those same people will not even accept the information when the word “ordain” is used.  So, the problem is not with the information.

Continued in part 2

 

Part 2

Then you posted:

“Don't ever overstate the strength of your case. Just because you may feel that the proponents of a particular practice are promoting something dangerous, that doesn't necessarily make it so. Tell how you feel about it and why. If there's no real proof that you are right, then others have every right to differ. Never try to manufacture proof where it doesn't really exist. If you think you have a proof text, let others try to show why it doesn't apply, or why it doesn't really say what you think it says. Candidly consider whether or not they might be right. Truth can afford to be fair.”

Ronald

It is not possible to overstate the “strength of” the case against WOPE.  It is so far from truth that there is not just a line between, but a chasm.  So, it is impossible to overstate the case here.

It is not just how I feel about the danger of a position, but how God sees it.  Failure to do an in-depth study does not make someone knowledgeable of the topic.  I have been researching this topic since the mid 1970’s, as well as drawing from the knowledge of several others, some of whom were involved in even early stages of this discussion then I was, which was very early.  So, this is not something where I have just woke-up and joined the debate over who should be ordained.  I have written several research papers on the subject as well as a couple of self published books. 

My research has shown that this is even more dangerous then the practice that some push of taking street drugs and smoking and drinking or anything else you might care to include of that genre.  However, while these others deadly practices initially only take one’s temporal life, WOPE will take away one’s eternal life.  Do you really want to support such a program?

It makes no difference how “I feel about it.”  What does make a difference is what God has said about it.  The position of the church up until about 50 or so years ago was that women should not be ordained as elders and pastors.  That is still the position of the General Conference.  So, it is incumbent upon those who advocate the change to the ordination of women as elders and pastors to show instruction, permission and/or authorization from God for this practice, which they have not even come close to doing. 

The burden of proof lies with them, not as much with those who are not in favor of the practice.  It is not necessary for it to be proven that we should not ordain anyone who will.  That has been the position of the church, based on God’s word.  Those who seek such a change from the established policy, need to produce more then just their opinion for this change.

As for considering whether the proponents of WOPE might be right.  I did that long, long ago and the answer is that there is not a shred of evidence that they are even close to being right.  They even admit that they do not have a direct command from God for the practice they advocate, so by their own admission, they are teaching error.  What more evidence is needed?

Then you went on with:

“Try to set aside any preconceived ideas and let the Bible instruct you. Adopting a position first, and then going looking for Bible texts to support it, is a recipe for disaster.”

Ronald

It seems that you are the one who needs “to set aside any preconceived ideas and let the Bible instruct you.”  Now you are making the wild accusations you accuse others of making.  There are very few people alive and active today who were involved in the early stages of this movement.  I have not just joined the discussion of late, but I was watching it and was involved in the discussion when it became a widely spread discussion.  I have had to set aside many preconceived ideas.  The first one I had to set aside was that the advocates of WOPE might be right.  That became very clear back in the mid 70’s that they did not have a case, so I had to stop supporting them. 

Then I had to set aside the preconceived idea that this was a gender issue.  That is far from the case, it is a qualifications issue and an issue of submission to God’s plan.  When you have set aside your preconceived ideas, then you can speak to others about theirs.

Continued with part 3

 

Part 3

Then you continued with:

“If you really know, from the Bible itself, that a particular position is condemned, then you should be able to show it to the rest of us. If fair-minded fellow believers can't see that you've made your point, you must entertain the possibility that you are mistaken.”

Ronald

This information has been posted endlessly.  You and others who advocate WOPE just set it aside as “railing,” etc.  So, if you consider that God’s word is “railing,” then  you will have to answer to God for that, not to me.

Then you posted:

“Personally, I'm not particularly in favour of women's ordination, and I am having a hard time getting comfortable with women serving as elders and pastors. However, I haven't really been able to find anything definitive from the Bible itself, one way or the other.”

Ronald,

You say you are not comfortable with WOPE, yet you condemn and falsely accuse those who are against WOPE.  In doing that, you are not being honest with yourself.  If you are really honest about wanting more information,  then you can go to my website www.basicsoftheword.com and go to the section on “Resources” and look for the file: “Who Authorized the Ordination of Anyone Who Will?”  That will give you an abundance of information from the Bible to examine.

Then you posted:

‘The more misinterpreted verses and convoluted arguments I see coming from the opponents of women's ordination, the more doubtful I suspect the whole question may be.”

Ronald

And I suppose you feel that the arguments in support of WOPE are solidly biblical and heavily supported by God’s word?  If that is the case, then present the information that made you come to that conclusion.

There is no doubt about the question, nor the evidence.  In both the Old and New Testament, God has stated that He will destroy those who are involved in it.  You can find those references in the resource I gave above.  The Bible is clear that this is not from God. 

History is clear that this practice of WOPE came straight from the mind of a unfaithful woman who lived right after the flood.  She was the queen of Nimrod, who was the first king, and is now often called the “Queen of Heaven.”  It was amazing how many people believed her lies back then.  It is even more amazing how many are still believing her lies today.

We are told this:

    “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”  Matthew 24:24 (ESV) 

The ONLY reason the elect are not deceived is because they have immersed themselves in God’s word and are totally submitted to doing His will and being led by the Holy Spirit.  Those who are being so led know without a doubt that adopting the practices of Sun worship is not what God wants us to do.

It is my prayer that you will heed the advice you so freely gave and look at all the evidence, not just what fits your preconceived opinions.

Maranatha :)
Ray

There is another thread that deals, in depth, with why its linked to the homosexual issue and Sunday worship.. It is a spirit of allowance for sin. One has ultimately lead to the other every time.

 

I read a quote I really thought was interesting cause it was so true.. Its a long quote but I think it explains what is going on inside our church with this topic. THIS is about society at large, but I see it fermenting in our midst via this issue and others.. Forgive the length, but I am pretty sure SOMEONE will appreciate it for the concise explaination for these arguments that it is..

 

Today the prevailing attitude is one of relativism, i.e., the belief that there is no morally binding objective source of authority or truth above the individual. The fact that this view tosses aside 2,500 years of accumulated moral wisdom in the West, a rationally defensible natural law, and the moral law revealed by God in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures seems to bother very few. ( And more and more even IN church, NOT just the world)

Relativism and individualism need each other to survive. Rampant individualism promotes a competitive society in which conflicting claims rather than consensus is the norm because everyone is his or her own standard of "right" and "wrong" and of "rights" and "obligations." The marriage of extreme individualism and relativism, however, has produced a new conception of "tolerance."

The word tolerance sounds great, but this is really tolerance with a twist; it demands that everyone has a right to express his or her own views as long as those views do not contain any suggestion of absolutes that would compete with the prevailing standard of relativism.

Usually those who promote tolerance the loudest also proclaim that the motives of religious people (Or people in opposition, both WITHIN the church) are suspect and that, therefore, their views on any matter must be disqualified. Strangely, socialists, Nazis, sadomasochists, pedophiles, spiritualists, or worshipers of Mother earth would not be excluded. Their right to free expression would be vigorously defended by the same cultural elite who are so easily offended when Christians or other religious people express their views.

But this paradoxical intolerance produces an even deeper consequence than silencing an unpopular point of view, for it completely transforms the nature of debate, public discussion, and consensus in society. Without root in some transcendent standard, ethical judgments become merely expressions of feelings or preference. "Murder is wrong" must be translated "I hate murder" or "I prefer that you not murder." Thus, moral claims are reduced to the level of opinion.

Opponents grow further and further apart, differing on a level so fundamental that they are unable even to communicate. When moral judgments are based on feelings alone, compromise becomes impossible. Politics can no longer be based on consensus, for consensus presupposes that competing moral claims can be evaluated according to some common standard. Politics is transformed into civil war, further evidence that the barbarians are winning.

Proponents of a public square sanitized of moral judgments purport that it assures neutrality among contending moral factions and guarantees certain basic civil rights. This sounds enlightened and eminently fair. In reality, however, it assures victory for one side of the debate and assures defeat of those with a moral structure based on a transcendent standard.  ( New Age ideiology)

Historically, moral restraints deeply ingrained in the public consciousness provided the protective shield for individual rights and liberties. But in today's relativistic environment that shield can be easily penetrated. Whenever some previously unthinkable innovation is both technically possible and desirable to some segment of the population, it can be, and usually will be, adopted. The process is simple. First some practice so offensive it can hardly be discussed is advocated by some expert. Shock gives way to outrage, then to debate, and when what was once a crime becomes a debate, that debate usually ushers the act into common practice. Thus decadence becomes accepted. History has proven it over and over.

Ronald

If the statment in God's word does not make that clear, nothing can.  God has said:

    "After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places.  [34] And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth."  1 Kings 13:33-34 (ESV) 

What God labeled as "sin" for His people in the days of Jeroboam, is still "sin" for God's people today.  Of course, those who do not submit to God as having the ultimate authority will not consider it to be sin to go their own way.  But, their way will not lead to eternal life.


Maranatha :)
Ray
 

People for WOPE are using the fact that since God has not spoken against it, then it must be ok..

But, from the New Testament, the qualifications FOR ordination are such as to NOT allow for women. To be a good ruler of your household, while today many women DO just that, does not mean that God intended it to be that way. Then or now.

And so, that phrase and many more like it, really, imply HEAVILY that this is a male thing in GOD'S eyes.

We ARE a royal priesthood, and there is a LOT that I DONT understand.. But, when in doubt, I gotta go with what I DO see IN the Bible. I HAVE to go by what God Himself implies.

 

I cant, by any means, look at modern culture and decide what He implies. I have to look at what He DID ordain Himself, in the places throughout the Bible where it talks about it.

And Teresa, actually saying that we should not even CONSIDER the sanctuary service just blew my mind! Quite revealing!

Jesus is our High Priest DOING the ministry OF the sanctuary!

If one can throw out the form of the heavenly sanctuary that we were given to see on earth, by God Himself, because it DOES speak STRONGLY agianst women playing at these roles, well, that DOES speak volumes about where this stance can lead.

I must admit, I need to study out ordination more completely, but as for gender, the Bible is only speaking to men in these roles.

 

I was named after Deborah, and I dont guess she was any better than Jesus, who sought NO title, cause I know I am not.

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